Coming into this week, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on this whole sustainability thing. We were assigned another Taking Sides reading, this time about the connection between poverty and environmental degradation. One person said that poverty leads to environmental degradation and environmental degradation enhances poverty. This would be a never ending cycle. I agree that people who don’t have much money are prone to make less sustainable choices because they have no other options. This can lead to environmental decay. This author even said that poverty should not be measured by the income, but by the security one feels.
The other side offered ideas that gave the poor rights and abilities to prevent environmental degradation. He gave ways such as investing with the poor, giving them incentives to be sustainable. He gave many different solutions. I lean more toward this side, mainly because this side offers more viable solutions to this problem. I think the poor should be given more rights and the opportunity to make the earth a better place.
After reading this selection, I realized that no one will ever have a complete understanding of sustainability and everything it encompasses. There are too many variables and not enough time to study them. It is an ever-changing system. We don’t need to understand it all to make a difference though. All we need to do is start. Start by doing a little and soon it will add up to a lot.